Does agile need extremely competent people in order to work?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007 – 7:43 PM

This discussion has been going around for a while. Esther Derby’s post made me think a bit more about it.

I’m with her all the way on this. In fact I might go so far as to say I’d actually rather have a team of competent people than a team of extremely competent “stars” – especially people who think they are stars.

I think this applies to other team activities too…

In 1998 France won the Soccer World Cup beating a Brazilian team of “stars” thought to be unstoppable. How, by fielding a team that played as a team.

In cycling, in some ways the epitomy of a team activity, Lance Armstrong won his seventh Tour de France┬ábecause of solid support from his team and because his competitors were unable to attack effectively. Most notably Telecom who’s three star riders, Ullrich, Kloden and Vinokourov seemed to spend a lot of effort chasing each other and not putting pressure on Armstrong’s Discovery team, even when it looked weak. Lots of “stars” and poor teamwork lost out to a stronger team.

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